The Investigation of Burnt Toast  

By: Brandon Dudley 
Online Editor 

The heat of the room was sweltering beyond comfort as stream driven engines pumped their pistons furiously.

A mechanical din bounced off steel walls and a haze of steam hung lazily in the air making it hard to see much beyond 10 feet of oneself.

Within the haze were two figures: one standing elegantly and one kneeling in submission.  

Kor looked to the bound orange robed man before him, a demeaning smile crossing his face at his beaten enemy. “Ah magic,” Kor started, pacing from side to side as he continued to watch the mage. The coat of his tuxedo suit swayed with him as he moved, its tail swishing on the metallic floor. “The manipulation of the elements for one’s own purposes,” he commented, then paused looking down in anticipation  

No response from the mage, still in recluse within his robes with head bowed.  

“Truly unlimited potential within the hands of any who wield it or are brave enough to endeavor into its wondrous realms,” Kor spoke as if it were a rehearsed speech.  

The mage tilted his head up a bit, an expression of defiance on his face. It appeared to Kor that clenched teeth were all that kept back a retort.

The wizened features on the middle-aged man’s face bespoke years of study and time spent practicing the magical arts.  

Kor took interest into this. Tightening his top hat’s hold on his head, Kor knelt down to be at face level with the man.

“What is it? Do you believe my words false?” He inquired, honestly curious.  

“You know nothing. You are blinded by your own falsehoods,” came a disbelieving growl from the captive, shaking his head with the last sentence.  

Offended, Kor exhaled out of annoyance. “Well now, that was rude…” he scoffed.  

“It’s true,” the mage came face to face with Kor showing bloodshot eyes. “You believe that any who wield it can have unlimited power. That those who are willing to be ‘brave’ enough to search its realms can find some vault of untold knowledge. But that’s not how this works. Magic is not something you play around with like a child with their toys!”   

The intensity at which the mage spoke caught Kor’s attention.  

“Magic is the manipulation of chaos, of the bindings to life itself. Not just the elements. And one does not simply do as they wish on a whim. One must be strictly trained and disciplined to handle such things!” the man chastised further, growing red in the face; whether from the heat of his own emotions Kor was not completely certain.  

Kor laughed, “Magic is for the powerful to attain and utilize for the greater good my little pumpkin. And I, the mighty Kor, have mixed magic with machine to create life perfected. How can one be more powerful?” 

“By not being a slave to your own misgivings…” The mage murmured, dropping his head down again, seeming to finally give up. “You may have mixed machine and magic, but this does not mean you have perfected life. What you are doing, is perfecting murder. You are killing nations you deem ‘unworthy’…”  

That was it. Kor had had enough of the man. Calling to his assistant, Kor finalized his decision. “SHAI, please dispose of this man, thank you.”  

Kor stood up and walked away, hands clasped behind back. The man began to say something, but a loud burst of steam cut him off abruptly.  

As Kor left the room he smelt burnt toast, a very distasteful smell at that. His engine room should not smell of such things.

And was that a scream he heard intermingled with the sharp hiss from the steam?

“Guess I will have to invent something to take care of that then,” shrugged Kor as he continued through his city, onto the next prisoner to question.  


Final Approach Short Story

Camera Science #3: Camera Shutter and Motion Blur 

By: Joseph Grosjean
Photographer and Photograph Editor 


Last issue we discussed how an aperture controls the amount of light entering the camera body, as well as depth of field effects.

This issue we will explore the purpose of the shutter in a camera, and the effects that can be created with a proficiency in shutter control. 

The shutter is in the camera body and its original purpose was to keep film from being exposed before the photographer wants to take the photograph, sort of like keeping the film in a dark room, then opening the window blinds for a split second.

Due to the sensitivity of the film this small amount of time is enough to create an image, and this process will be discussed in more detail next issue.

This principle is still used in modern digital cameras which allows the use of higher efficiency image sensors.

Some camera manufacturers have experimented with cameras without shutters.

The benefits of this are lighter camera bodies, and no “clacking” of the shutter when you take a photograph.

The drawbacks are that there must be control over each pixel in the image sensor which makes these camera bodies expensive compared to their shuttered counter-parts. 

The shutter is the second of the three points on the exposure triangle, the first being the aperture.

If an aperture can be compared to a pipe of different diameters, with a larger diameter pipe allowing in more light, and a smaller diameter pipe allowing in less, then the shutter is comparable to a valve, allowing in a precise amount of light.

Too much and the image will be overexposed, in other words the image will appear too bright, possibly completely white.

Too little light and the image will be underexposed, or too dark. The goal of a balanced exposure is to avoid both extremes, and the ways to accomplish this will be discussed in a later issue.  

Now you wish to take a photograph. As a photographer it is your job to ensure that the image you produce is interesting, otherwise people will not be drawn to your work.

This can be accomplished through lighting, framing, depth of field effects, and many other techniques that can be used to create breathtaking images.

The shutter speed plays a large role in this artistic side of photography, and you must think, do I want the image to be sharp and crisp, capturing a tiny sliver of time, or do I want to create a sense of motion by allowing parts of the subject or background to be blurred out. This is what you must consider before taking a photograph.  

Typically, your shutter speeds will be in the range of 1/80 – 1/4000 of a second depending on the desired effects, the environment, and your other settings, but anything under 1/80 of a second will be subjected to motion blur.

Motion blur is not always a bad thing, as listed above, and one of the best techniques that uses motion blur is called panning.

In this technique a slow shutter speed is used, around 1/15 – 1/30 of a second.

The photographer pans the camera to keep the subject (moving) centered in the viewfinder as the image is taken.

The effect this creates is a frozen subject and a streaked background, which creates an exaggerated sense of motion.  

Mastery of the shutter is one of the most important skills a photographer can master and is the setting that is changed most often from photograph to photograph.

Next issue we will investigate the last point on the exposure triangle, ISO or ASA, and both film and digital methods of capturing images.  

Final Approach

Column of Whatever: Post Spring Break Panic Edition

By: John Mills
Diversions Editor

Spring break is over now, somewhat unfortunately. As we sit on the precipice of the post-spring-break sprint to the end of the year, I think it’s a good time to think about literally anything else.

The end of the year is just too insane and stressful to think about without turning around and running as fast as I can in the other direction.

Deliberate ignorance to problems never goes wrong, does it?

In the news over the last few days has been the emerging story of a so called “trade war” with China.

This started when President Trump levied an estimated $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese-made imports to the US.

Said tariff is intended to level the perceived trade deficit between the US and China, but mostly has just angered newly-cemented president-for-life Xi Jinping.

This is while President Trump is also seeking China’s aid in defusing the seething ball of pent up angst that is the North Korea situation.

Somehow, this combination of moves doesn’t exactly seem like something out of the fictional “International Relations Power Plays Playbook.”

The stated reason behind this first set of tariffs is the blatant disregard the Chinese populace tends to have for intellectual property rights.

This state of affairs is hardly anything new though. Intellectual property violations have never been prosecuted heavily in China, which is part of why so much of their technology is reverse-engineered versions of other countries’ inventions.

Doing this was necessary for them in the late 1970s through to the beginning of the 1990s and beyond.

History lesson time: At the turn of the 20th century, the Chinese government and people were essentially structured the same as they had been three hundred years previous, except for the repeated shin kicking, then removal, they suffered at the hands of the British.

Post-WWII, and once the Communists secured victory over the Nationalist Guo Min Dang, China was severely behind the rest of the world both technologically and socially.

Much of the population lived in rural communities and farmed for a living.

Their cities had been ravaged by several decades of continuous war, and there was little remaining industrial base.

Several methods were taken to rectify this state of affairs, largely under the auspices of Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.”

What does this mean for the present? Well, a lot actually. More than can fit in one column. Probably more than can fit in one book, though many have tried.

In very broad and general terms, it means China isn’t likely to start heavily prosecuting intellectual property violations, and the US is going to continue to be mad about it.

Let’s hope it doesn’t get any worse than that.

Also, as a last word. Keep your head up through the end of the year. It’s tough in many ways, and no one needs the extra stress, but it’ll be over before you know it, for better or for worse.

Final Approach

Sports Update 8 March 

By: James Ritchey


Women’s Basketball (21-6, 11-3 CalPac) 

ERAU 84 – 99 UC Merced 

The Eagles’ stellar season came to an end with a loss in the CalPac postseason tournament to UC Merced.

The game was tight from the beginning, as the Eagles and Bobcats stayed within two possessions of each other throughout the first quarter.

A three from Haley Villegas gave ERAU a 21-20 lead going into the second quarter, but both sides still kept up their momenta.

Another three by Villegas kicked off the second quarter, and both ERAU and UCM began to rely heavily on outside shooting.

UCM made six threes in the second quarter alone, and ERAU matched them with three of their own and some points in the paint. Halftime saw the Eagles down 45-48.

The game turned around in the third quarter, as the Bobcats scored 10 straight points to start the second half and build up a 45-58 lead.

UCM kept the defensive pressure up, restricting ERAU to just eight points in the third quarter.

The Eagles rebounded in the fourth quarter, scoring 31 points, but it was not enough to secure a full comeback.

UCM had a field goal percentage of 0.524, and shot 56% from beyond the arc. Haley Villegas and Jazlyn Maletino both had 18 points.  



NAIA National Tournament 

Six wrestlers from ERAU competed in the NAIA National Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa.

Overall, the Eagles placed 26th, with 15.5 overall points. Eli Mason competed in the 197-lb bracket, taking eight overall and earning All-American honors.

David Salazar also did very well, competing in the 141-lb tournament and finishing in eighth to also earn All-American honors.

Kody Davis wrestled in the 174-lb bracket, winning two of his matches and earning three points for ERAU as a whole.

In the 157-lb matches, James Williams won his first match by decision, but dropped his next two, still earning two team points.  


Softball (15-11) 

24-25 Feb (Home) 

Copper State Classic 

ERAU finished 2-2 in their home tournament, the Copper State Classic. Due to the winter weather, the tournament had to be shortened to just two days, but the Eagles still were able to perform. 


ERAU 4 – 12 Arizona Christian University 

In their first game of the tournament, the Eagles struggled offensively, only scoring in the first two innings.

ACU hit a home run in their first at bat of the game, but ERAU was able to respond with two hits and two runs in the first inning.

Two more runs in the second inning gave the Eagles a larger lead, but they were unable to generate any more offense for the rest of the game.

ACU scored five runs in the fourth and five runs in the fifth to create a sizeable lead, which they held until the game was called after the sixth inning.

Bailey Critchlow had two RBIs in the game.  





ERAU 3 – 4 BU-Mesa 

After a loss to ACU, the Eagles had a much closer game in their second of the tournament.

The Redhawks jumped ahead in the first inning by scoring three runs on three hits.

However, ERAU pitchers Carly Carlsen and Olivia Ramos held them to just one more run for the rest of the game.

Battling from behind, the Eagles earned a run in the fifth off a single from Rylee Payton, then scored twice more when Haley Basye hit a home run in the seventh inning.

Unfortunately, ERAU was held to just that and could not complete a comeback. 


ERAU 11 – 8 University of Antelope Valley 

The Eagles earned their first win of the weekend with a late game burst of offense.

Haley Basye hit a two run homer in the third inning, but the Eagles found themselves down 2-6 going into the top of the fifth.

Bailey Critchlow homered in the fifth inning to grant the Eagles another run and produce some momentum.

Bailey Critchlow hit a grand slam in the sixth inning as part of a 5-run effort to take the lead.

Three more runs in the seventh inning sealed the victory. 


ERAU 11 – 10 BU-Mesa 

In their final game of the tournament, several home runs by the Eagles earned them a victory in their second game against the Redhawks.

Haley Basye and Kaila Romero both homered for a total of four runs in the first inning to give ERAU the early lead.

BU-Mesa came back with four runs in the third and five in the fourth. By the bottom of the fourth, ERAU was down 5-9.

Hannah Deluna then hit a two-run home run to cut down that lead.

The Eagles took a decisive lead in the sixth, when another three runs were scored off a home run by Daisy Hatcher-Taylor.  


26 Feb (Home) 

ERAU 7-6, 11-8 Goshen College 

Softball continued their successes from their home tournament, taking two games from Goshen College at home. In game one, consistency was the key to their success.

Goshen hit two home runs in the first inning to give themselves an early 3-0 lead, but their offense never continued at that pace.

Haley Basye scored Zoe Streadbeck in the first inning to start the ERAU offense. Each side earned a run in the second, and bats were quiet on both sides until the fifth inning came around.

Goshen was able to score one run on an error, but the Eagles responded when Daisy Hatcher-Taylor batted in two runs on a double to right center.

The sixth inning played out similarly, as Goshen scored once on an error, but ERAU responded with greater force.

Zoe Streadbeck hit a double to score Bailey Critchlow, then Haley Basye hit another double to score two runs and give the Eagles a decisive lead.

In the second game, The Eagles started off with a heavy offense, which they defended until the end of the game.

ERAU picked up five runs in the first inning, giving them a lead they would not give up for the rest of the game.

Three more runs in the second inning made sure the Leafs stayed behind, and Lani Kaleikini closed out the game on the mound to ensure the Eagles stayed ahead.  


11 March (Away) 

ERAU 7 – 6, 4 – 13 La Sierra 

The Eagles opened conference play with a split doubleheader at La Sierra.

In game one, the Eagles started out strongly when Hannah DeLuna’s sacrifice fly scored Bailey Critchlow in the first inning.

However, LSU quickly responded with three runs of their own in the first.

In the third inning, the Eagles earned five runs due to a series of LSU errors, and LSU was never able to recover.

ERAU scored once more in the fourth, and LSU’s two runs in the fourth and one in the sixth gave the Eagles their first conference victory of the season.

In game two, a disastrous second inning prevented the Eagles from putting up a significant fight.

ERAU scored twice in the fourth inning and twice more in the fifth, but another explosion came when LSU scored five runs in the fifth inning to call the game early.  



25-27 Feb: Cal Baptist Invite 

The Eagles travelled to Jurupa, Calif., to compete in the Cal Baptist Women’s Golf Joust, hosted at Goose Creek Golf Club.

ERAU tied for ninth of 16 overall, with a weekend team score of 634. Nicole Lopes and Jessica Williams tied for 38th place overall, both earning a score of 158.

Elle Carson and Trae Jones were right behind them, each scoring 159 to tie for 42nd place.

In the first round, Carson hit a 74, the lowest score for the Eagles all weekend. Jones matched her in the second round.

Lopes and Williams performed exactly the same all weekend, both scoring 80 for round one and 78 for round two.  


ERAU Hosts VEX Robotics State Championship 

By: Lucas Widner

On Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, almost one thousand high school and college students filled the Activity Center and Eagle Gym to show off their robotics skills in the 2018 Arizona State VEX Robotics State Championship.

Seventy teams competed, with fourteen in the university division and fifty-six in the high school division.

All the high school teams were from Arizona, but some college teams travelled much further to compete in this event, such as Team BUFF, which came all the way from Boulder, Colorado.

This is the second year that this event has been hosted at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). 

Hundreds of parents, friends, and supporters filled the south bleachers in the Activity Center, watching matches on the five game fields on the floor throughout the day.

The US Army and the ERAU admissions department set up displays to try and attract some of the several hundred high school participants to their programs, and the Army even brought a fully assembled UAV to show off.

ERAU’s VEX Robotics club built an interactive robot called “convenience bot” that was adorned with game pieces and robotic claws that drove around and interacted with some of the students.

Three additional game fields were set up to give teams a chance to practice and compete in either the driver or autonomous skills competitions. 

This year’s VEX Robotics game, called “In the Zone,” is played on a twelve-foot square field with foam tiles covering the floor and a small fence around the perimeter.

The goal is to score as many yellow plastic “cones” on either high, fixed bases or low, mobile bases and move the mobile bases into scoring zones in opposing corners of the field.

Teams compete directly against another team during each two-minute match.

The first fifteen seconds of each match for the high school division or forty-five seconds for the university division is autonomous control only, so the drivers are not allowed to control the robot. The winner of the autonomous section is awarded bonus points.

The driver then takes over with a PlayStation-like controller and scores as many cones and bases as possible before the match ends.  

The robots are built primarily from steel and aluminum parts resembling those from Erector Sets and must start each match inside an imaginary 18-inch cube for the high school division, and a 24-inch cube for the college division, but then can expand once the match starts. Teams can use 12 electric motors per robot, in addition to pneumatic pistons.

Teams can use as many sensors as they want, and can 3D print small parts for their robots as well. Programming is done in a variation of the C language called RobotC, which is specially adapted for robotics usage.


Each team is also required to record all their work in an engineering notebook, which shows that they are documenting and following the engineering design process correctly.  

All three of ERAU’s teams (Blue, White, and Gold) competed in the university division, with the Gold team finishing fifth, Blue team finishing tenth, and White team finishing fourteenth.

The rankings are only part of the story, however, as more awards are given at the end of the competition.

For both high school and university divisions, awards such as Design (how well the team documented their build and followed the engineering design process), Judges (best interview skills), Skills (a combination of driver and autonomous scoring ability), and Excellence (highest award given to the best overall team) were awarded and some of the winning teams also earned a qualification spot to attend the 2018 VEX World Championship.  

Team PYRO from Arizona State University (ASU) went undefeated in the university division, swept the finals to become the Tournament Champions, and won the Design Award.

Team SCC1 from Scottsdale Community College won the Robot Skills Award, and their sister team SCC2 advanced to the finals to win the Tournament Finalist Award.

ERAU’s Gold team won the Excellence Award, their first at this level of competition. Teams PYRO, ERAU Gold, and SCC2 each earned World Championship qualifying spots.

In the high school division, Team 5090Z “Radio Active” from Chandler, Ariz., won the Excellence Award, and the Robot Skills Award went to Team 2114X “Brother Bots.”

The alliance of teams 2114Z “Team da Vinci,” 2114X “Brother Bots,” and 8373H “Twisted Axles” from Phoenix, Ariz., won the Tournament Champion Awards after two very competitive finals rounds.  

Once again, ERAU hosted a fantastic robotics tournament that was fun to watch and showed the truly amazing innovation and engineering by the high school and university students that competed, with an incredible turnout of over one thousand competitors and spectators.

This is also the first time any of ERAU’s teams will be competing in the World Championship, with six team members flying to Louisville, Ky.,at the end of April to compete and represent ERAU.

This trip would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of the Undergraduate Research Institute, which has strongly supported ERAU’s VEX Robotics Club and their efforts to host competitions like this one.  

Any student wanting to learn more about ERAU’s VEX Robotics Club or the VEX Robotics Competition can contact club president Lucas Widner at []. 





Featured Features

Recipe Review: Cajun Lime Shrimp 

By: Reece Cabanas
Correspondent/Chief Distribution Officer 

For those who appreciate shrimp, or seafood in general, and a spicy kick in the taste buds, this recipe is just for you!

Consider making my Cajun lime shrimp recipe, a surefire hit at BBQs if cooked with care. Trust me, I’ve had nothing but praise with these babies. 

This recipe is as simple as it sounds: all you need is some shrimp (jumbo prawns work best), BBQ skewers, Cajun seasoning, jumbo limes, and a stick of butter.

Pro tip: some grocery stores, such as the Fry’s Food and Drug near campus, sell pre-skewered shrimp in the seafood department. 

Another tip is to cook on a gas grill for a more consistent and even heat source.

Charcoal grills can work just as well, given you pay close attention to the temperature to avoid overcooking.

Shrimp can take on a rubbery consistency if left on the heat too long. 

Turn on the grill before doing anything else as it may take a while to get everything up to temperature.

For prep work, devein (remove the shell from) the shrimp and rinse in cold water. Skewer five or so prawns onto each skewer, or as many as you can fit if you don’t plan on sharing.  

Cut each lime into halves so you have enough for each skewer. Melt butter in a separate bowl when about ready to grill and add a few tablespoons of the Cajun seasoning. 

Now, throw the shrimp onto the hot grill. With a basting brush, apply the butter mix over the prawns. After about three minutes, flip the skewers and baste the other side.

This should keep the shrimp moist as they cook. 

The final step is to squeeze half of a lime over each skewer of prawns. Remove from the grill, and let rest for a minute before serving hot. 

A few additional tips to add: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for a couple minutes before adding the shrimp.

This will help them to avoid burning when applied over open flame. You can also add vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, and/or pineapple to brighten up your plate. 

There you have it. A great recipe for that dream BBQ with friends or family that will have them thinking you’re a master chef! 



Drink Review: Adult Hot Chocolate 

By: Brandon Dudley 
Online Editor  


  • Hot Chocolate Mix 
  • Heated Milk or Water 
  • Whipped Cream  
  • Your choice of alcohol: Baileys, Kahlua, or Frangelico   

Winter might be on the cusp of turning into spring, but a warm beverage can always be a welcome treat to sate one’s thirst, especially when it involves hot chocolate.

For those who can legally purchase and drink alcohol, adding a little kick into the drink can make it even sweeter.

With the ingredients above, you have the makings of an Adult Hot Chocolate.  

Hot chocolate is easy enough to make with a simple mix found at the grocery store.

I would suggest mixing the powder into warmed milk instead of water as it adds a frothier, creamier taste to the beverage.  

Once the hot chocolate portion of the drink is ready, the real fun comes next.

For this I would suggest either Baileys, Kahlua, or Frangelico to be added to the drink; it only takes about a shot or two poured in to get the desired taste to enhance the chocolate further.

If I am feeling like a little extra for my drink, I would mix and match any of these three into a combination of two.

Personally, a dash of Baileys and Frangelico in my hot chocolate makes all the difference for a fantastic drink.  

Taste test how much you pour into the hot chocolate by starting off with smaller amounts, as there is no going back when mixing a drink.

Once the desired balance is achieved, the icing on the cake, so to speak, is adding whipped cream.

Whether this be a small dollop or filling the rest of the mug to the brim, this makes for the complete hot chocolate experience.  

This mixture of hot chocolate and alcohol is simple to prepare yet very satisfying to enjoy and pairs well with a good book or a nice evening sunset.

It can help soothe the spirit on a chilly night in a tasty way that does not overpower the taste buds with the alcoholic flavor, rather enhancing the chocolate goodness with hazelnut or cream.  


Book review: Turtles All the Way Down

By: Vee Glessner
Copy Editor

John Green’s newest young adult novel, “Turtles All the Way Down,” had a lot of hype to live up to after the success of the author’s “Looking for Alaska,” “Paper Towns,” and especially “The Fault in Our Stars.”

Unfortunately, the new release is something of a let down after all the momentum that Green built up with his previous novels.

“Turtles” is the realistic fictional story of a sixteen-year-old Aza, who struggles with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders in the midst of a national mystery that’s local to her hometown: the father of her childhood friend Davis has gone missing.

Aza and her best friend Daisy are eager to close the gap between themselves, Davis, and, of course, the $100,000 reward for the whereabouts of Davis’ father.

Unfortunately, Aza’s character is too far out of the ordinary for most readers to relate. She is obsessed with bacteria, microorganisms, and a disease known as Clostridium difficile (C. diff).

Aza describes her anxious thought processes as spirals, which tighten around her and push her to outrageous actions, such as breaking open a wound on her hand that never heals and obsessively changing her band-aids.

She goes as far as to drink hand sanitizer repeatedly in an attempt to cleanse herself of the bacteria that make up her body.

Although Green thoughtfully explores the world of mental illness in Aza’s character, he also makes it hard to sympathize with her.

Aza’s best friend, Daisy, writes fan fiction and caricatures Aza in an annoying, disruptive, selfish character that her readers “love to hate.”

Even Daisy, who should have been Aza’s closest friend, reveals the main character’s flaws and many shortcomings to an audience, which makes a reader feel like Aza’s sickness is just an inconvenience and not something to be understood.

The book does have an enjoyable plot arc, but it’s watered down the entire time by the way the Aza behaves and the way the reader is taught to react to that behavior.

Truth be told, Aza is selfish, obsessive, and annoying, and her budding romance with Davis, as she explains to him, will never be free of her aforementioned personality traits.

She is negative, doesn’t take her medication, and isn’t honest with her therapist, yet Green romanticizes her and sets her up with the son of a multimillionaire who treats her like a princess.

Aza is a poor role model for those that struggle with mental illness and a turn-off from the book for those who can’t relate to her.

Overall, Aza’s obsessive personality and anxiety are extreme to the point that most readers have a hard time relating to her in the first place.

Those who might be able to relate or struggle with mental illness might idolize her because of the way she’s portrayed, which presents another problem: Aza doesn’t take the steps or have the attitude to heal.

“Turtles” is a great read technically, but as John Green has shown before, one of his skills is creating characters readers just don’t like.


Review: Ben Seidman – Magician and Comedian

By: Rachel Parrent

Ben Seidman, the famous performing magician and comedian, came to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s DLC on March 2, adding to the joie de vivre of students before they were to start spring break.

Presenting stunning sleight of hand tricks accompanied by humor and jokes, Seidman impressed many in the audience, engaging with students and faculty members alike.

His tricks were very intricate, and some in the audience even joked that they found the tricks frustrating, because they were so impossible to figure out!

Seidman has been practicing magic since a young age, eventually turning it into a career, bringing joy and laughter to audiences all over the world.

Having served as the Resident Magician of the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, and appearing on television and in film productions, Seidman shares his entertainment on global tours.

His extensive performance experience and adventures through touring seem to be a strong influence in his comedy, as he shared many comedic stories about his time in Las Vegas, and other fascinating destinations, during his show.

He brought comedy and magic to ERAU to wow and entertain students with his personal stories, jokes, and illusions.

Junior Kat Keith enjoyed the event, saying it was “a lot of fun,” and that Seidman “had some very applicable and hilarious jokes for a campus like ours.”

His sleight of hand was awe-inspiring and very impressive, as there were tricks that lasted throughout the entire show, tying the beginning all the way to the end.

Though confusing and long-winded at times, it was fascinating to see how Seidman pulled jokes and stories from the start of the act into a final presentation in a game with the audience.

Abigail McNally of BCA even got pulled up on stage to call her mother for one of Seidman’s acts. “[It was] really a great time to see a different kind of entertainer like Ben,” she recalled of the experience, “and a really good time to de-stress with this activity.”

Whether there for the comedy or the magic show, the audience was thoroughly entertained by Ben Seidman’s act.

These kind of events seem to be received very positively by the campus here, with lots of excited students and faculty in attendance for some laughs.

Something to make the ERAU-Prescott students smile through the work of school is always appreciated!


News: Amateur Rocketry Team Attempts Two-Stage Launch 

By: Reece Cabanas
Correspondent/Chief Distribution Officer 

On Feb. 24 students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s (ERAU) Prescott Campus attempted to launch a two-stage amateur rocket.

The team, led by sophomores Matthew Boban and Robert Hagen, flew their rocket from the Tripoli Phoenix launch site at Aguila, Ariz. 

The goals of the team were to test staging mechanisms and electronics on a smaller-scale prototype rocket.

For this launch, they predicted an altitude of at least 7,000 feet above ground level (AGL). 

Ultimately, the final two-stage rocket will fly to an estimated 12,000 feet AGL using the applied knowledge gained from these smaller launches.

The current 3-inch diameter airframe will be upgraded to a 4-inch diameter. 

For experimental sounding rockets two-stages are commonplace, such as the Terrier Black Brant and Nike Black Brant.

These types of launch vehicles can push small payloads to sub-orbital altitudes at a lower cost than the much larger Falcon 9 or Delta IV. They also prove to be more cost-effective overall. 

The first stage serves to boost the forward section of the rocket up before being discarded and igniting the second stage.

By discarding the weight of the first stage, a greater velocity can be achieved to push the payload portion of a rocket higher with less propellant. 

During the February launch, winds aloft caused the rocket to gradually arc over from its original trajectory.

Though the first stage was nominal, the second stage did not ignite due to the 10-degree maximum angle limitation that was programmed.

When the second stage was ready to ignite, electronics prevented a secondary burn as the rocket was at a 22-degree angle relative to its vertical axis. 

“There’s that general nervousness all rocketeers have before flight,” says team lead Matthew Boban. “I was confident the rocket would perform as intended, but it was a little more nerve-wrecking than your standard high-powered flight due to the complexity of the rocket itself.” 

“We spent a lot of time checking and double checking, so we were sure everything would work as they [sic] should,” Boban also adds.

“I was most worried of the potential loss our electronics, due to their high cost.” With a project of this scope, it was only reasonable for the team to make sure all systems were nominal before mounting the rocket on the pad. 

Over the past few years, rocketry on campus has grown significantly. On-campus organizations such as Eagle Aerospace and Eagle Space Flight Team have seen considerable increase in membership when compared to previous years.

The Rocket Development Lab, located in Building 59 alongside the Eagle Works Advanced Vehicle Lab, has become the main hub for anything rocketry related on campus, serving as a workplace for creativity, growth, and mentorship. 

It is also worth noting that Eagle Aerospace, the on-campus organization this team operates under, is a local National Association of Rocketry (NAR) chapter.

Both NAR and the Tripoli Rocketry Association, whose Phoenix chapter hosted the launch, are FAA compliant and offer memberships as well as insurance for all things amateur rocketry. 

The team is readying for a second attempt from the Aguila launch site during the weekend of March 24, with final checks occurring the week leading up to the date.

Boban states, “I have increased confidence next flight will work just as well, if not better.”